The SteelDrivers have become something of a Nashville staple. The talented group of musicians comprised of Gary Nichols, Tammy King, Mike Fleming, Richard Bailey and Brent Truitt, have toured the US, been nominated for a Grammy, and featured on shows like The Grand Ole Opry to NPR’s Mountain Stage to the Conan O’Brien show. Their modern meets old-school country sound has garnered a fanbase all over the country, including country star Vince Gill, who praises the band for their musicianship and fearless sense of experimentation.
With so many successes and a recent tour under their belt, their homecoming comes at a perfect moment. As they gather their creativity to hop back into the studio and began working on a new album, what better way to get some motivation than taking their songs to a live audience in the heart of Music City? Ahead of their show in Nashville, I had a chance to catch up with Tammy King and dive in to some of their most memorable moments and biggest inspirations.. Be sure to catch them on Friday, March. 20, 2015 at 3rd and Lindsley! Tickets are $17.50 and can be purchased online.
You’re all very successful musicians on your own, so for those who don’t know, tell me a little bit about how the band formed?
We got together very informally just to jam and play some tunes for fun! I don’t think anybody had any idea that we would form a band and that it would become as successful as it has.
In general, what music has inspired you as a whole? Where do you feel you’ve pulled a lot of your musical influences from?
We,of course, have all listened to a lot of traditional music, but we all have interests outside of that as well. We listen to lots of singer-songwriters, blues, soul music, R and B, you name it!
You’ve seen so much success so far, including being nominated for a Grammy award. What have been some of the highlights of your career thus far?
Certainly the Grammy nominations have been huge, but also playing places like the Grand Ol’ Opry, the Conan O’Brien show, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and Bonnaroo to name a few!
As a band, you’ve had a chance to perform in so many different places in front of eclectic audiences. What have been some of your most memorable performances of the past?
The first time we did the Opry which was at the Ryman and happened to also be my birthday was memorable for sure!!!
Being Nashville-based, how does it feel to perform shows at a venue like 3rd and Lindsley? Are hometown shows different from any other performance?
We love to play in town and 3rd and Lindsley has become a great venue for us. It’s nice to be able to play a great show and then drive home and sleep in our own beds!
What performers have you seen that have really inspired you and what it is about their shows that does so?
The list is so long! Emmylou Harris, John Prine, Buddy Miller, Darrell Scott, Tim O’Brien, Jason Isbell, and on and on and on…..great singers, great songs!
When you hit the stage, what do you hope your audience takes away from each of show?
I hope our audience takes away how much we love to play and sing for them!
What are some of your favorite venues to play in Nashville? What are your favorite places to hangout when you’re not performing?
We love the Station Inn, 3rd and Lindsley, the Ryman Auditiorium…..and we hang out at those places even if we’re not playing.
Considering you’re musicians and this is Music City, what do you love most about calling Nashville home?
It’s great to live here and be surrounded by so much talent, day in and day out. On just about any given day, you can go out to hear some music and be totally inspired by someone!
You have a new album on the way, what can fans expect off this new project? How has the process been going so far? Any special details you can share?
The new record is finished and we can’t wait for our fans to hear it! It really delves further into southern roots music, not just bluegrass. We wanted to bring more of Gary’s background from Muscle Shoals into the mix and I think we did!
Since the name of the blog is Jukebox Mixtape, I have sort of a silly signature question I ask all artists. If you’re out on the town with your friends and you can play only 3 songs on the Jukebox to get everyone pumped up for the evening, what 3 songs would you choose?